Sunday, May 25, 2014

What's Happening at the Beaver Pond

"Tippy" comes out to greet a visitor at her pond
Lately the beavers have been quite active at their main pond. They may or may not have new kits this season. I have an inkling that they do judging by the amount of food being brought back to the lodge. Kits don't typically come out of the lodge until they are at least a month old and so it's not unusual that we haven't seen them yet. The adults have started to come out in the afternoon again; this is something that they haven't done in several months. For the most part they've been working to maintain the ponds and canals and are generally keeping the habitat in order. The other wetland dependent species have been taking full advantage of the beavers' handiwork. Ducks and Geese have already nested and some young have recently hatched.
Greta, our log-time resident female Canada Goose, rearranges sticks around her nest
Greta notices one egg has rolled off and into the pond - She was able to retrieve it
Greta makes a splashy takeoff from the nest 
Greta and her mate Felix watch over their only gosling to hatch
The new gosling tries some greens for the first time
The other goose pair had 4 goslings
The very first Mallard ducklings hatched the same day as the goslings
The Wood duck is still sitting in her box - visited often by a male
When the Wood Duck female comes out of the box to feed, the male follows after her
A female Hooded Merganser showed interest in the Wood Duck's box. She may have even laid some eggs in there - thus allowing the Wood Duck to incubate them for her!
Recently there has been a mink hunting around the pond area
The mink is mostly searching the dam for small rodents, but they will take anything small enough to handle
Behind the beaver pond duck blind a Southern Red-backed Vole hides in a fold of old roofing material
Julia, the  beaver colony's Matriarch, patrols the pond - the Mink is no threat to beavers
One of the 2-year old beavers works on the main dam
Tippy takes apples from my hand just like she did when she was a small kit

A Green Heron walks across the dam
A male Mallard flies in and prepares to land at the main pond
In the dead trees above the pond several bird species are nesting - The Great Crested Flycatcher is our only flycatcher species that will nest in tress cavities 
A Hairy Woodpecker is still feeding nestlings in a dead tree over the pond

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